Edition Fourteen – editorial

Once again the editorial team brings you another edition of Eras, this time bringing articles by Campbell from Archaeology and Darren Dobson from Modern History. Campbell explores Bronze Age lustral basins and suggests that their role needs to be revisited in light of further evidence. Dobson discusses the formation of the Republican Party and its positioning with respect to the debates over slavery in the USA. He analyses various sources documents like the speeches of Lincoln to discern political forces shaping the historical trajectory of the Republican Party.

Book Reviews expose scholars to accurate assessments of what books are worth purchasing, so this issue of Eras includes ten reviews of recent publications. One of these reviews is a longer reflection piece on 2 related texts, a piece that will surely arouse debate. We would again like to express our thanks to those publishers who provided us with free review copies.

Eras this edition is smaller than usual mainly due to the fact that we are also working on two special editions due for release this year- an Emancipation edition celebrating the 150th anniversary of the US Emancipation Declaration, and related Civil War, and a Med-Ren edition covering specific medieval and renaissance topics. We already have several papers going through the journal editing process for these special editions, so by the end of 2013 year we anticipate having 3 more whole editions up on the web, i.e. our usual general issue plus these 2 special ones.

Online journals are increasingly common and provide an important outlet for research, especially for postgraduates. Being online should not mean that standards slip, and Eras continues our now long-standing tradition of professionalism.

As Richard Scully wrote in the 2006 Eras Editorial, “we … maintain exacting standards in our editing and refereeing procedures. Our double-blind referee process exposes the authors of articles for Eras to the scrutiny of world-class scholars, and so authors published in Eras may be confident both of the validity of their research, and the excellence of their scholarship.” (http://www.arts.monash.edu.au/publications/eras/edition-8/ (Accessed 5/2/2013)

Publishing Eras is very much a collaborative process and 2012’s committee members Natasha Amendola, Sam Baudinette, Hannah Fulton, Anne Holloway, Steve Joyce, Stephanie Rocke, and Kathy Shaw, have all continued to work hard while completing their theses. Thanks also to the staff of the School of Philosophical, Historical and International Studies for their advice and support. We have recently been joined by Darren Dobson and Stephanie Jury, and always welcome new committee members.

A refereed journal relies heavily upon two groups from the scholarly world for its survival – authors to submit articles, and academics to act as referees. Many thanks to both groups, and particularly to those academics who wrote lengthy and discerning review reports that enabled the relevant authors to progress their research much more rapidly than would otherwise have been the case.

After two years as Managing Editor I will stay on the committee and now happily hand over to Natasha Amendola. Enjoy this edition.